M. S. Dhoni has hit the nets in his hometown Ranchi prior to departure to the United Arab Emirates for the Indian Premier League 2020. The Chennai Super Kings (CSK) captain, who hasn’t played a competitive fixture since the 2019 World Cup semifinal loss against New Zealand, practised in the indoor facility at the Jharkhand State Cricket Association (JSCA) International Stadium Complex.
"He visited the Stadium Complex a few times after the partial lifting of the lockdown. He was using a bowling machine to work on his batting,” said a JSCA administrator on condition of anonymity. “He bowled and batted in the nets for about an hour.”
Before the coronavirus pandemic brought all international and domestic cricket to a halt, CSK was the first team to begin its IPL training camp at the M. A. Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai, in March. Dhoni, accompanied by senior teammates Harbhajan Singh, Suresh Raina and Ambati Rayudu, started preparing in December for the Twenty20 (T20) league, which was originally scheduled to begin on March 29.
“Only Dhoni was allowed to train inside the (JSCA) stadium, with just one other person to operate the bowling machine, both maintaining a fair distance at all times. There have been no groundsmen or board officials allowed inside the ground. Even the person in charge of helping M. S. train had undergone all the necessary precautions," the administrator added.
With the men’s T20 World Cup pushed back by a year, speculation has been rife about Dhoni’s future, and all eyes will be on the three-time IPL-winning captain.
The 13th edition of the IPL, set to begin on September 19 with the final on November 10, will be played across Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Sharjah.
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